To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of introducing a cumulative impact test to enable councils to reject applications for new betting shops where there are already existing clusters of such shops in an area.
The Government is alive to the concerns around clustering of betting shops. Since 2015, planning permission has been required for any new betting shops on the high street. In addition, the Gambling Act 2005 requires local authorities to set out in a statement of policy the principles by which it manages the gambling environment in the local area. The statement can be used to set out reasons for why it would be inconsistent with licensing objectives to grant additional licences in a given location e.g. safeguarding children or the vulnerable. The Gambling Commission advise that the use of the licensing statement of policy varies from one LA to another, but where it is used effectively and updated regularly it can be an effective tool at rejecting and/or imposing conditions on new licences.